Banded rudderfish inhabit shallow coast waters at depth of about 180 feet. The are found over hard substrates inshore and offshore. The best techniques for catching Banded Rudderfish are drifting and bottom fishing using shrimp, cut fish, or squid.
Habitat: Ocean, Coastal Waters
How to identify Banded Rudderfish
The banded rudderfish has dark vertical markings on its blue/green/brown body. Its caudal fins have dark lobes with white tips. Juveniles have diagonal markings on their sides and striping that travels from their first dorsal fin to their eye. Their dorsal fins are dark, and the second dorsal fin has a subtle white margin. The anal fin’s lobe is white, as is the margin. They have a brownish marking that runs from the flank to the snout, and one that extends from the first dorsal fin to the eye. The banded rudderfish has a robustly flat body and a long, pointy snout. They can weigh as much as 11 pounds and grow as long as 31 inches
Where to catch Banded Rudderfish
Banded rudderfish can be found in the Atlantic Ocean from Brazil up to Nova Scotia in shallow, hard-bottomed waters near the shorelines. Juveniles stick around floating debris, such as weeds, and are known to tag along with larger fish, including sharks.
The following are habitats where you can catch Banded Rudderfish:
How to catch Banded Rudderfish
There isn’t one technique that works especially well for the banded rudderfish. Drifting with live bait can produce success, as can deep-sea fishing. They respond well to almost any bait and are fairly easy to catch.
It’s important to note that there are catch limits in the Gulf of Mexico for the banded rudderfish. Anglers can’t catch anything smaller than 14 inches and must adhere to the catch limits. Once the limit is caught for the year, they are no longer allowed to be fished. It is advisable to use a dehooking instrument to safely remove the hook once the fish is caught and release it back into the wild.
The following are effective fishing methods and techniques for catching Banded Rudderfish:
Best Lures, Bait & Tackle to catch Banded Rudderfish
Banded rudderfish respond best to live bait, such as shrimp, live/cut/strip fish, or squid. Baited jigs and metallic spoons also work well to catch these fish. It’s also advisable to have a net on hand to help bring them in since these fish are smaller.
The following are fishing lures, bait and tackle that can be used to catch Banded Rudderfish: